An engagement ring is one of the most important representations of commitment you will ever give or receive in your life, marking the start of a remarkable journey to be taken by a couple in love. During a whirlwind time of proposal preparations, it’s important to allocate an appropriate amount of time on choosing the ring that will be perfect for the bride-to-be. A recent study proved that the ring could even be a deal-breaker, with 28% of women admitting they would turn down a proposal if they didn’t like the ring. As such, many couples opt to choose the rings together, avoiding any potential upset that could put dampen the mood of an otherwise joyful occasion.
This concept of choosing rings together is even more crucial when it comes to antique engagement rings. With a wealth of different styles, gems and metals on offer, each as unique as the next, it’s difficult to decide on the perfect band. Below are a few tips and tricks to guide you through the purchase of what is likely to be the most expensive accessory you will ever have the pleasure of calling your own.
- Get with the times
If you have your heart set on an antique engagement ring, you need to make sure it is exactly that, an antique. If an engagement ring is less than 80-100 years old, then it isn’t classed as an antique. Rings that are over 20 years old can often be classed as vintage, while any second-hand jewels are called estate, regardless of whether they are vintage or not. If that wasn’t confusing enough, most estate jewellery is in fact vintage. Be sure to wise up on your time periods and revise the different styles and stones that were popular in each era, to narrow down your search and give you more of an idea on what you’re looking for.
- Talk about colours
When it comes to choosing a colour for the stone of your ring, it’s important to keep an open mind. Many will opt for a classic diamond style, in keeping with a supposed ‘tradition’, even though different coloured gemstones were the style of choice for hundreds of years before diamonds were introduced. Engagement rings with a bright and bold gemstone are a recent trend and can look fabulous. You can even get the best of both worlds, with a bright and bold gemstone surrounded by smaller diamonds for a spectacular finish. If it’s good enough for Prince Will and Kate…
- It’s all about YOU (or your partner)
While some jewellery is worn as a symbol of stature and wealth, an engagement ring is too personal and precious to allow those factors to dictate your choice. If it’s a surprise proposal, take this opportunity to prove how well you know your significant other. Select a ring that includes his or her’s favourite colour, mimics their bold and daring or minimalistic style and even research gemstones and their properties to find the perfect ring. If you’re struggling, talk to a trusted mutual friend who may be able to help or have a snoop around their existing jewellery box for an indication of their preferred style.
- One size does not fit all
As if you didn’t have enough on your plate, yet another thing to consider is sizing. The nature of antique engagement rings for sale means that they were usually made in a time when people had smaller fingers. This makes finding the perfect ring that also fits much like the search for Cinderella’s slipper – a difficult task! Some rings can be altered by a few sizes, but not all, so it’s worth highlighting this to the jeweller and finding out early on which are your viable options.
- Take your time
Hopefully, there’s no immediate time limit, and you’ve started looking with plenty of time allowing you to make an informed and balanced decision. If you’re choosing together, it’s a great opportunity to spend some quality time together, taking regular days out to browse the jewellers before heading out for a date in one of the fancy restaurants nearby. If preparing for a surprise proposal, arm yourself with props like a picture of the recipient and her favourite colour which will help the jeweller advise you regarding the best aesthetics.
Finally, good luck! Nothing makes a proposal more special than the presentation of a carefully considered, unique antique engagement ring. Now it’s time to start those wedding preparations…